The last thing you want to learn on the first hot day of the year is that there are problems with your central air conditioning unit. Maintaining your unit throughout the year is critical, otherwise, you face a buildup of dust, leaves, and other debris that causes HVAC units to perform poorly. Taking care of maintenance problems year-round helps you avoid more costly summer visits when technicians are overworked and prices go up. Before doing anything, turn off the power at both the disconnect box near your unit and at the service panel for safety. Wait 30 minutes for any collected electric charge to dissipate. Do not touch any electrical components on your unit.
- Clean or replace the filters – You should do this regularly, or every time they look dirty, so dust doesn’t recirculate into your home and to improve efficiency.
- Clean the coils – The coils sit beneath the fan on your condenser unit, which usually sits outside in the elements. It is easiest to clean these coils with the soft brush on a vacuum cleaner. This will help maintain the efficiency of the unit.
- General Maintenance – Remove leaves and other debris from the base of the unit, and make sure the drain is not clogged. Clean the blades, tighten any loose bolts, and add a few drops of oil into any oil ports. Clear any weeds that might stop air from flowing through the unit.
- Check the insulation – There is usually foam insulation on the pipes that run from the air handler to the outside condenser unit. This stops them from losing energy. Replace any damaged or missing insulation using foam sleeves or insulation tape.
- Test Your Air Conditioner – Turn the thermostat to the “Off” position, then turn the power back on at the main panel and disconnect box. Turn the thermostat to “Cool” and ensure the air is flowing properly.